Top Chef Las Vegas Recap
By Jason Lee
August 31, 2009
First off, let me send out a dire warning to any Top Chef fans out there in cyberspace. You may have already discovered this, but the producers over at Bravo have (in)conveniently decided to change the name of this program. No longer will it be recognized by your TiVo or DVR as Top Chef. Nope, you will have to go back into your settings and make sure that your TiVo/DVR records all upcoming episodes of a totally different show named Top Chef Las Vegas. If not, then like me, you'll find yourself totally pissed off and have to record a re-run on Saturday afternoon to find out what happens.
Thanks ever so much, Bravo.
Anyhow, back at the Top Chef penthouse, we're still in that awkward "who are you and should I even bother getting to know you or will you be packing your knives in a few days time?" stage. Inside, we have a couple of cheftestants using their monologue time in front of the camera to bitch about how they've been doing. Jesse feels like she's on the defensive after being in the bottom four last week, Eve doesn't know whether she should cook for the judges or for herself (if you don't know the answer to that question, honey, you don't really deserve to be here) and the two brothers comment on how weird it is to compete against each other. C'mon guys, don't tell me that when you were kids you weren't pissed off if your brother brought home a better report card than you - you've been competing all your lives.
Anyhow, the Quickfire Challenge is getting underway with Todd English (formerly seen as Hung's sous-chef in season 3) as our guest judge. Just so you know, he has more restaurants than he can count. Jennifer finds him hot. My boyfriend does not.
Todd and Padma are standing in front of a craps table. Each cheftestant will be rolling the dice and whatever number they get will have to be the number of ingredients in their Quickfire dish. This is a GREAT challenge - very Vegas and very challenging.
The cheftestants roll their dice and start their 30 minutes of cooking. With 16 people in the kitchen, it's hard to tell who's doing what. We see snippets of Ashley doing a salad (kinda smart because you can throw any number of ingredients in a salad), Bryan is cooking some black cod sous-vide style (a la Hung), Jesse is doing scallops but gets no color on them and serves them without a proper sear. Lordy, can this girl do anything right?
The chefs start serving their food. Loraine has an asparagus leek soup, Jennifer (my pick for the strongest girl this season) does a salmon with lemon garlic shallots, Mattin (the flamboyant-but-straight French guy) does a carrot soup with ginger and Michael (one half of the brothers) does a "nitro" gazpacho, whatever that is. Kevin presents our second dish including asparagus with an asparagus and celery salad - at this point, I'm pretty sure that Todd English's urine will smell pretty funky for the rest of the episode.